Fashionable Nonsense: Postmodern Intellectuals' Abuse of Science

Front Cover
Picador USA, 1998 - Science - 300 pages
2 Reviews
In 1996 Physicist Alan Sokal published an essay in Social Text -- an influential academic journal of cultural studies -- touting the deep similarities between quantum gravitational theory and postmodern philosophy. Soon thereafter, the essay was revealed as a brilliant parody, a catalog of nonsense written in the cutting-edge but impenetrable lingo of postmodern theorists. The event sparked a furious debate in academic circles and made the headlines of newspapers in the U.S. and abroad.

Now Sokal and his fellow physicist Jean Bricmont expand from where the hoax left off. In a delightfully witty and clear voice, the two thoughtfully and thoroughly dismantle the pseudo scientific writings of some of the most fashionable French and American intellectuals. More generally, they challenge the widespread notion that scientific theories are mere "narrations" or social constructions.

At once provocative and measured, Fashionable Nonsense is a passionate defense of science and sense.

What people are saying - Write a review

Fashionable nonsense: postmodern intellectuals' abuse of science

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

With unabashed criticism, physicists Sokal and Bricmont analyze the abuse of physical and mathematical concepts found in the confusing and superficial writings of several prominent postmodern ... Read full review

Review: Fashionable Nonsense: Postmodern Intellectuals' Abuse of Science

User Review  - Doug - Goodreads

I agree with the points, but it wasn't exactly a page turner. Read full review

Other editions - View all

About the author (1998)

Alan Sokal is Professor of Physics at New York University and Professor of Mathematics at University College London. He is co-author with Roberto Fernandez and Juerg Froehlich of Random Walks, Critical Phenomena, and Triviality in Quantum Field Theory, and co-author with Jean Bricmont of Fashionable
Nonsense: Postmodern Intellectuals' Abuse of Science.

Jean Bricmont is professor of theoretical physics at the University of Louvain, Belgium. He is the author of "Fashionable Nonsense: Postmodern Intellectuals? Abuse of Science" (with Alan Sokal) and other political and scientific publications.

Bibliographic information